Salem Places 5th and Fichthorn Breaks Another Record!
September 8, 2007
Lexington, VA- Traveling 3 ½ hours north into Virginia, the Salem College Cross-Country Team took on the Old Dominion Athletic Conference along with some USA South Conference Schools. When all the sweat was poured out and the dust was settled, the Spirits of Salem College stood proud as the team finished 5th overall out of the 15 collegiate teams represented on the hot and muggy day at Washington & Lee University.
Roanoke College won the women’s meet with a score of 38 points, followed by Washington & Lee University (50), Catholic University (61), Southern Virginia University (135) and Salem College with 170 points. Bridgewater College (183), Guilford College (204), Randolph College (211), Emory & Henry College (237), Greensboro College (247), Sweet Briar College (329), Ferrum College (338), West Virginia Tech (344), Lynchburg College (no score) and Averett University (no score) finished behind Salem College.
Rachel Fichthorn (Nokesville, VA) watched as a large group of harriers sprinted past her in the first mile of the 6000 meter (3.76 miles) race. By the second mile, Fichthorn started passing those runners one by one until she had captured second place with a mile to go. In the end, Fichthorn finished 4th overall out of 108 runners, just 21 seconds behind the overall winner Jennie Pernisi of Lynchburg College. Fichthorn’s time of 24:59 broke Salem College’s 6K record and is the second Salem College cross-country record that she has broke in the past eight days. What made the feat extra special is that Fichthorn’s parents, brothers, brother’s girlfriends, and last but not least, long-time boyfriend from University of Virginia were there to watch her make school history.
Julie Piernikowski (Potomac, MD) ran in front of her dad who made the surprise trip down from Maryland. Piernikowski did not disappoint her dad as she ran well, placing 36th overall (28:34) and was the Spirits 2nd runner.
Daphne Nichols (Machiasport, ME) made her collegiate debut with a 37th place finish (28:49). Nichols surged on the long hills to pass many of her opponents and placed 3rd on the team. Lauren Meek (Draper, VA) ran well, placing 61st overall with a time of 31:21. Meeks mom treated the team with water, Gatorade and fruit that really came in handy after the long and hot race. Ariel Barker (Monroe, NC) worked hard to place 72nd with a time of 32:28 and finished out the Spirit’s top five.
Anna Nieboer (St. Cloud, FL) captured a 100th place finish (38:45) while teammate Nicole Wachter (Sunrise, FL) placed 104th (42:40). “This is just the second collegiate race for both of these ladies,” said Coach Widner. “I’m very proud of them and the entire team for representing Salem College in such an admirable fashion. Finishing 5th at this large meet is a tribute to all the hard work each and every student-athlete has made on hot afternoons and early 6 am practices. We will continue to improve during the season, and we look forward to our upcoming meets.”
Salem College will return to action next Saturday as they host Guilford College, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Meredith College and Jefferson College of Health Sciences. Race time for both men and women will be 10 am on the back campus of Salem College.